No more Protons for sale in SA
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Johannesburg - Ten years after opening its doors, Malaysian brand Proton has stopped selling new cars in South Africa.
However, it will continue to honour warranties and provide after-sales support to existing owners.
“The brand is still active, however, given the exchange rate and the local cost of the units out of Malaysia, importation of new models is not viable as the cars can just not compete on price,” says Kyri Michael, General Manager of Associated Motor Holdings (AMH) Shared Services. “After sales service is, however, continuing as per normal, and will continue for the forseeable future as long as there’s a demand.”
The Imperial group’s AMH division began importing the budget brand here in August 2005 with the launch of the Gen.2 hatchback, and later expanded the line up to include the Proton Saga small sedan, Satria Neo compact hatch and the Persona mid-sized sedan.
The cars offered a high level of features at keen pricing, if not the build quality and refinement of the market leaders, and it remained a niche brand.
Around 5000 Protons have been sold in South Africa to date.
There are six AMH multi-franchise dealers supporting Protons, located in Nelspruit, East London, Pinetown, Bloemfontein, Edenvale and Menlyn.
Headquartered in the city of Shah Alam, Perusahaan Otomobile Nasional Berhard (Proton) began assembling cars in 1983.
Proton was largely a manufacturer of badge engineered vehicles from Mitsubishi Motors between 1985 and the early 2000s, but upgraded its engineering capabilities when it bought the UK’s Lotus Group in 2003.
This is the second brand that the Imperial group has ceased importing to South Africa after Daihatsu underwent a similar fate a few months ago.
As with Proton, the estimated 30 000 Daihatsu owners will continue to receive after-sales support in South Africa.Star Motoring